Weekend Picks for Sept. 20-23: LA Opera’s ‘Don Carlo,’ ‘The Cake,’ Arcade Fire and more

Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas sings the title role in LA Opera's staging of Verdi's "Don Carlo."
Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas sings the title role in LA Opera’s staging of Verdi’s “Don Carlo.”
(Cory Weaver / LA Opera)

Shows that might be worth your while this weekend include a remount of LA Opera’s “Don Carlo,” a second chance to see Debra Jo Rupp on stage in “The Cake,” and the return of rock music titans Arcade Fire to SoCal. Also, CAP UCLA opens a new season, a beloved musical is back on the big screen at the Bowl, and two separate festivals spotlight Spanish-language theater and local dance companies, respectively.

‘Don Carlo’ returns to LA Opera

Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas sings the title role as LA Opera opens its 2018/19 season with a remount of the company’s 2006 production of “Don Carlo,” Verdi’s tale of romance and intrigue at the Spanish court. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. 6 p.m. Saturday; other dates through Oct. 14. $24 and up. (Opening night will also be simulcast, for free, to large screens at El Cariso Community Regional Park, 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar, and Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica)

Geffen serves up ‘Cake’

Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”) reprises her role as a baker who receives a personal request to make a cake for a same-sex wedding in an encore run of “The Cake,” Bekah Brunstetter’s topical, LGBTQ-themed comedy. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Oct. 21. $30-$120.

Debra Jo Rupp reprises her role as a conflicted baker in the hit comedy "The Cake" at Geffen Playhouse.
(Darrett Sanders)

Fire’d up at the Greek

Canadian alt-rockers Arcade Fire bring their arty and at times achingly beautiful anthems back to SoCal in support of the band’s divisive 2017 album “Everything Now.” The Zombies, of 1960s British Invasion fame, open the show. The Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 7:15 p.m. Thursday. $59.50.$125.

Arcade Fire, with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, returns to Southern California for a show at the Greek Theatre on Thursday.
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Cole and Iyer’s ‘Blind Spot’ in DTLA

The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA launches a new season of eclectic offerings with “Blind Spot,” a multimedia-enhanced mix of spoken word and live music from photographer and essayist Teju Cole and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, and based on Cole’s book of the same name. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, L.A. 8 p.m. Saturday. $29.50–$59.50.

Author-photographer Teju Cole will be at the Theatre at Ace Hotel with a performance based on his book "Blind Spot."
(Martin U. K. Lengemann)

‘Sound of Music’ fills the Bowl

The hills are alive ... with the sound of the “Sing-a-long Sound of Music.” Melissa Peterman returns as host of this annual celebration of the beloved 1965 Julie Andrews film based on the Broadway musical. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 6 p.m. Saturday. $14-$99.

Audience members are invited to sing along with Julie Andrews and company at a screening of "The Sound of Music" at the Hollywood Bowl.
(20th Century Fox)

Bilingual theater fest on Fairfax

Local and international theater performers assemble for LA Escena 2018. Presented by UCLA’s “Diversifying the Classics” program, this inaugural three-day festival showcases works — some in English and some in Spanish with English supertitles — written by or inspired by such Golden Age greats as Cervantes, Lope de Vega and María de Zayas. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 6 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $10.

Fernando Villa will perform his comedic one-man show "El Merolico" as part of the LA Escana 2018 theater festival.
(Pedro Pazaran)

They’re dancing in San Pedro

The dance component of this year’s edition of the San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts includes performances by San Pedro City Ballet, Tango San Pedro, White Crane Dance Company, Louise Reichlin & Dancers and many others. Port of Los Angeles, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Louise Reichlin & Dancers are among the acts that will be performing this weekend at the San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts.
Louise Reichlin & Dancers are among the acts that will be performing this weekend at the San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts.
(George Simian)